News from Alfonso - 12/14/09

Dear Friends,
Well we have somehow spun and whirled our way to the last week before the holiday. This morning I witnessed two wonderful shows by the PreK- Grade 1 students, and we will be looking forward to the evening performance at the Gerding by grades 2-5.

Over the weekend at the Okains’ house, the parents hosted a lovely holiday party for the staff. Thanks to all of you who cooked for the party and were on hand, snappily dressed in black and white, to serve us in great style.

With the holidays right on the horizon, and the pressures of the American winter holiday mounting, it is a good time to remind ourselves to be kind and patient with each other: with teachers, with children and with our fellow parents in classes. And I have learned too often the hard way that email communications can be fraught with misunderstanding and mistaken tones. Especially with room parents who take on a great deal of responsibility for all of us, let’s be kind and helpful and remember that we need to stay informed ourselves through the many channels of communication the school offers. When in any doubt, let’s just call each other and touch base.

I will be flying out for China on Friday afternoon and returning to Portland on January 9. As some of you know, my father in law, with whom I shared a close relationship, passed away this fall and I wasn’t able to join my wife to attend the funeral because of the demands of a new job. I want to be on hand with the extended family for his 100 days ceremony on January 8. I don’t even like to miss a day of school for sickness, but this is something very important to me, and I hope you will understand. I will ask other people to take care of traffic in my absence. Maria will be at the helm. I have a US passport, so there should be no trouble in returning!

If somehow I do not see you in the coming days, I wish you a very peaceful holiday and thank you for joining me in a very fulfilling first term at TIS.

Alfonso, 503-226-2496 x109